Marangu Route 6 days, 5 nights.
The Marangu route is the easiest route to the summit of Kilimanjaro, sometimes called the Coca-Cola Route. The Marangu route takes you at a gentle pace through forests, moor lands and then across. The Saddle, a high-altitude desert separating the main summit, Kibo, 5896m, from craggy Mawenzi, 5149m, to Kibo Hut. From here an early start is made for the ascent to Uhuru Point (the highest top of Kibo). The path zigzags up steep screen which is easier to climb when frozen. The views from the crater rim at Gillman’s Point at dawn can be spectacular. Uhuru Peak lies a further 1h 30min around the rim.
Accommodation on the mountain is in comfortable huts. You will need warm clothes and walking poles. This is a tough walking trip but within the limits of a fit individual used to walking in mountain areas.
Marangu gate (1830 m) – Mandara hut (2700 m). 8 km, 3-4 hours.
After breakfast, you leave your hotel and drive to Marangu village. The driving takes almost 2 hours. At the gate you’ll meet your guide, cook and porters. They will arrange all the luggage and do some paperwork. You will start walking in lush vegetation in the mountain rain forest. Sometimes you can see monkeys in the forest and lots of different birds. Lunch is served on the way to Mandara hut.
Mandara hut (2700 m) – Horombo hut (3750 m).
Second day walk covers about 11 km (6-8 hours). After a short walk, you emerge from the forest belt onto the grasslands and then to Horombo hut.
This day is for acclimatization to the high altitude. A good walk is up to The Saddle by the eastern path.
Horombo hut (3750 m) – Kibo hut (4700 m). 10 km, 6-8 hours.
This is a hard day’s climb to Kibo hut. You will walk 13 km crossing the terrain of The Saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo peaks. When you arrive at your hut you should relax, because the next hiking to the summit starts at midnight (01:00 am).
Kibo hut (4700 m) – Uhuru Peak (5895 m) – Horombo hit (3750 m). 4 km up, 14 km down. 10-15 hours.
You will wake up around midnight for a small meal. The walking to the summit will start around 01:00 with frequent stops to catch the breath in the thin starlit air. This is the steepest and most demanding section of the climb. It takes 5 hours to reach Uhuru Peak (5896 m), the summit of Africa. When you reach the top you can enjoy the sunrise. Descend down to Horombo hut in the morning hours.
Horombo hut (3750 m) – Marangu gate (1830 m). 18 km, 5-7 hours.
This is a much easier day as you have the luxury of walking downhill on the way to Marangu gate. Lunch is served at Mandara hut on the way down. At the gate your driver will meet you and take you back to your hotel for a warm shower.